Lancashire County Council states “it’s highway teams are continuing to work to keep the county moving following the weekend’s floods, as well as gearing up to deal with forecasts for ice and snow for some areas”.
But some residents are critical of LCC for not undertaking routine clearance of road drains that would stop much local flooding. Classical examples are in Burscough, Halsall, and Aughton. Time and again we see the floods on main roads. We showed pictures of Moss Delph Lane in Aughton, which regularly floods, and there is visible damage to a drain there.
“Highway teams received in the region of 400 calls over the weekend, and worked around the clock to respond to issues caused by Storm Ciara. Most of these problems related to localised flooding of roads, and downed trees, with teams using sandbags to divert water where necessary and chainsaws to remove trees which were causing obstructions.
“Work is ongoing to clear drains blocked by flood debris, repair retaining walls damaged by the flood waters, and assess damage to roads and other infrastructure.
“The Met Office has issued a yellow weather warning for snow and ice for the region from 3pm on Monday and throughout Tuesday.
“Localised forecasts are for wintry showers to affect the whole county, with sleet and snow expected to particularly affect higher routes throughout Monday night and Tuesday morning. Snow expected overnight could lead to accumulations of up to 6cm on the very highest routes by morning, with the potential for some snow to also settle at lower levels.
“Gritting is planned across the county this evening, with crews going out from 2pm this afternoon in some areas ahead of the wintry showers forecast. Team are also being retained to patrol throughout the night on those routes expected to be most affected by snow in the early hours.
County Councillor Keith Iddon, cabinet member for highways and transport, said: “Our highways and emergency planning teams have had a very busy weekend as part of the multi-agency emergency response to deal with the impacts of Storm Ciara.
“I’d like to thank them for their hard work and dedication as I understand they put in some very long hours, and did all they could to mitigate the impact of the flooding to our communities.
“Fortunately the water has now receded, and our Emergency Planning team is leading the coordination of the recovery phase. Our highway staff are still busy out on the roads, dealing with problems to structures such as retaining walls caused by the storm, clearing debris from drainage infrastructure, and assessing other damage.
“But the weather has not finished with us yet, and our focus over the coming hours will be on keeping the county moving due to the forecast for ice and snow for many areas.
“I’d remind people that gritting the roads will not stop snow and icy slush from settling, and I’d ask people to take great care and drive to the conditions. The salt we put on the roads helps to prevent ice by lowering the freezing temperature, the action of traffic is needed to mix the salt with the ice and snow to make it work, which means any route could stay icy even after being gritted.”
Lancashire County Council has a fleet of 45 frontline gritters which can treat the 1,500 miles of the county council’s priority road network within around four hours, but may take longer in severe conditions.
As the Lead Local Flood Authority for Lancashire, the county council will be investigating the causes of flooding as a result of Storm Ciara in order to identify where repairs may still be required, which organisations need to be involved, and in particular where there may be opportunities to bid for funding for schemes to mitigate future flooding. People are asked to report any issues with as much detail as possible, particularly where properties have been affected, by calling 0300 123 6780 during normal working hours or by email to firstname.lastname@example.org.